Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Diabetes kills more Americas every year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.
It is the #1 cause of blindness in adults.
It doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke.
1 in 13 Americas have it, 1 in 4 don't know it yet.

Did you already know those facts? I have had Type 1 diabetes since I was 7 years old. I grew up in the era before there were home blood testing units, nutrasweet, or nutrition fact labels. I have watched, studied, and cheered so many wonderful developments over the past 30 years that have profoundly impacted my diabetes and my daily life. I've suffered highs (400+) and lows (-25). And today, I am solid proof that controlling your blood sugars will decrease the side effects of this very deadly disease.

From the conversations I've had in my lifetime, I feel that the majority of Americans do not have a clue about diabetes, type 1 or type 2. One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding this disease is that "you are not supposed to eat sugar". Ug! I cannot count the number of times I have been with people who have just polished off a huge portion of white pasta, some rolls with butter, and a glass of wine - who then say they cannot have any dessert since the are "watching their sugar intake". Ug! So today's lesson is this - the body converts ALL carbs to sugar. ALL. So it doesn't matter if it's a glass of wine (3.2), pasta (55), rolls (20), or apple pie (40) the body turns each carb into sugar (glucose).
Here's a little science: As food enters the body, carbs are converted to usable sugar or glucose. The glucose is then passed thru the blood stream, and mixes with insulin that has been released from the cells (or injected if diabetic). This mixing then starts a series of chemical reactions that then allow the glucose to leave the blood and enter the cell, supplying it with energy. Too much glucose and not enough insulin means high blood sugar (Hyperglycemia). And not enough glucose and too much insulin means low blood sugar (Hypoglycemia).
So the next time you are tempted to tell a diabetic what they should not be eating, let's be clear that you need to point out the pasta, the rolls, the 4 beers, and not just that piece of cake.

Diabetes kills more Americas every year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.

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